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Strange: Church Weds Couple As First Wife Protests

TodayNewsReview / General / Religion / Strange: Church Weds Couple As First Wife Protests 612 Views

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All Saints Cathedral Nakasero was on Friday engulfed in drama as it wedded a couple amid protestations from another woman claiming the same man as husband.

Mr Ronald Ssonko, an assets finance manager at Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and Ms Maureen Ahimbisibwe, an employee of Ecobank, were wedded at the Anglican Church despite another woman, Ms Damalie Nkkungu Kantinti, standing up to oppose the marriage.

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Ms Nkkungu, a resident of Bweyogerere suburb in Wakiso District and a banking officer at NC Bank, appeared at church as early as 7am with intent to stop Mr Ssonko’s marital union with Ahimbisibwe. Ms Nkkungu has four children with Ssonko from their collapsed relationship.

“…I am legally married to Mr Ronald Ssonko by customary marriage, which took place in Makindye-Sabagabo Zone on March 18, 2006,” Ms Nkkungu states in her letter of objection to the All Saints Cathedral clergy.

The two former lovebirds were living together until five years ago when they separated. Mr Ssonko left the home to Ms Nkkungu and their children. Ms Nkkungu acknowledged that Ssonko had been coming to the home regularly and bringing assistance to the family but accused him of not fulfilling his conjugal obligations.

However, her frantic protests and manoeuvers to block the wedding fell flat and Ms Ssonko was allowed to wed his new spouse. The wedding happened inside the cathedral. Ms Nkkungu was blocked from entering the church by stout men (kanyamas), acting on behalf of the bridegroom, who saved the situation from degenerating into full-scale chaos inside the cathedral.

Ms Nkkungu told Sunday Monitor outside the church that regardless of her misunderstandings with Mr Ssonko, she wanted him as the father of her children, to first seek her consent and a nod from the entire family before wedding another woman.

“I have been living together with Ronald since 2000 and we got customarily married in the presence of our parents and our elders in 2006,” Ms Nkkungu said, adding that Mr Ssonko had promised to wed her in church before their relationship hit a rock and disintegrated.
“I just learnt of recent that he was planning to wed someone else. I kept thinking and hoping that he would ideally sit me down, talk to me and we either agree to agree or agree to disagree,” Ms Nkkungu said at the church on Friday.

Apparently, Ms Nkkungu had introduced Mr Ssonko to her parents and their union was endorsed at the traditional giveaway ceremony (kwanjula) at her parents’ home in Makindye under the Kiganda customary marriage arrangements.

However, the couple did not proceed to formalise their union by registering it with the Registrar of Marriages to make it a legally recognised marriage. Therefore, it remained a mere love union without recognition in law.

Ms Nkkungu insisted that before proceeding to marry someone else, Mr Ssonko should first dissolve their existing marriage officially. She said when she learnt about the planned wedding, she ran to church and met with some church elders, including Rev Grace Ssentongo, Rev Jasper and Rev Irene Akankwasa, who recommended that the church meets the couple and looks into their issues.

However, the church argued that it could not stop Mr Ssonko’s wedding on the basis of objections arising from an unrecognised marriage in law.

After arrival at the cathedral on Friday, the bride, Ms Ahimbisibwe, was kept waiting as the Vicar Rev Diana Mirembe Nkesiga, sought to reach a common ground between Mr Ssonko and his former lover.

Before the bridal entourage entered the cathedral, Ms Nkkungu forced herself inside and started provoking one lady who sat in the front row of the church. She was promptly bundled out by strongly-built men.
In an interview with Sunday Monitor later, Rev Nkesiga said she made a decision to wed the couple after meeting both parties.

Credit: monitor.co.ug

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